Rector’s Report for APCMs 2016

‘The harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few: therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest’ (Luke 10: 2)

In the last year we have gone a long way in refining our administrative structures so that more of our time and energy can be spent on ministry and mission: reaching out in imaginative ways to as many people as we can with God’s story and God’s love; offering different ways to learn about God, to pray, to worship God; finding a common language to engage with God.   As I look around the Glaven Valley I see what a lot is happening.

As many of you will know, working with Children and Families is something that has always been very dear to my heart. We work very well with Blakeney School.

  • A team of 10 has been taking Open the Book into school since September 2014. The children engage with the Bible stories, they recognise the members of the team when they see them round the village and they enjoy our assemblies.
  • Messy Church goes from strength to strength. We now regularly have 40-50 children, with parents or grandparents – a regular congregation of about 100. In this informal atmosphere I and the team make good relationships with the families, whilst also engaging with bible stories in a meaningful and sometimes profound way, enjoying linked activities and a nourishing meal.
  • Several of these children came to our recent Glaven Sings Gospel and joined in with enthusiasm.
  • Debbie Davison and I have started a new group for high school age children.
  • We are planning a family communion service. Our first one will be on 5th July (3:15 for 3:30pm) and there are a few of us who will plan it together. We will also invite people to help us to make resources in school so that everyone will feel included and welcome.
  • I led a godly play session during the month of Cley 15 in Wiveton Church and have another one planned for Cley 16.

I have led a godly play session with a group of people with dementia at Glaven Caring and am planning the next.

The Glaven Valley seems to attract artists – musicians, poets, authors as well as ‘artists’.  This last year we have again enjoyed a wide variety of musical events and the Art Exhibition at Cley . Whether or not the art in the Exhibition, or all the music, is to our personal taste we have a natural way in to make connections with people who may not normally think of coming to church.  Last year I enjoyed our ‘Inaugural Service’ for Cley 15; the first special service planned and led with some of the artists. We are planning another special service for Cley 16 and I have already met and had some inspiring conversations with some of the artists.

I write the day after the second ‘Glaven Sings Gospel’ event. We think we had 150 people – of all ages, from a mixture of Church traditions and none.  Surely an inspired, as well as fun and, at times, deeply moving addition to the wide breadth of worship already happening in Glaven Valley.

Recently several people who have been very much part of the life of the Glaven Valley benefice have died. And some others have had significant health problems. The support the affected people have received from many of you has been wonderful. Sensitive, practical help, friendship and love. Not just one-off but ongoing. What a privilege to be part of such a caring community.

What a joy and privilege too to have so many gifted and committed people to work with. The retired clergy give so much time and energy. One of them remarked recently how different we all are and that our gifts and traditions complement each other. Sue Gillmor and Sarah Woodhouse continue to lead their beautiful families and children’s services. Our Messy Church and Open the Book teams are enthusiastic and loyal and work well together.

Over the year there have been certain changes that we have had to make out of necessity.

–  Jayne Jones’ and Glenn Aikens’ decisions to step down as Church Wardens did come as blows. However, after prayer and some thinking outside the box creative solutions have in both cases been found. While these will never be able to replace dear Jayne or Glenn they have resulted in more people being drawn in to help with the ongoing work of the parishes.

– Another situation which called for creative thinking was the need to revise our service rota. I’m well aware that some of us are still struggling to take the changes on board and there will be the possibility to revisit the subject in an open meeting on 4th October at 6pm but this situation too has had definite positive outcomes. It prompted Roger Bland to offer himself for Reader Training. He will go for selection on 30th April: please pray for him. He would be a wonderful addition to our team of worship leaders.  It also led to Claude’s inspired idea of Glaven Sings Gospel.

We must never forget God’s transforming power.  If we are open, positive, committed to praying,  listening to each other, working together……  who knows what we may achieve? The harvest is plentiful……. it is important for us to be able to sustain all these different initiatives without over-reaching our resources. Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers ….

Children and Families Service at St Margaret’  Church, Cley

Due to the reorganisation of the Church of England Services across the whole Benefice starting from Sunday 6th September the half-hour Children and Families Service will move from the 3rd Sunday in the month to the 2nd Sunday in the month.  The time of this     service will also change from 11.00am to 11.15am.  The Animal Service taking place on Sunday 13th September will commence at 11.15am

The Benefice Office

The Benefice Office is located to the Tower Vestry at St Nicholas’ Church, Blakeney.

The office is open from 9.30am to 3.30pm on Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s and 9.30am to 4.30pm on Thursday’s.

The contact telephone number is 01263 740583 if the office is not open, please leave a message on the answer phone, alternatively telephone 01263 740702 or email glavenvalleybenefice@yahoo.co.uk

Glaven Valley Churches Website

If you would like to have any articles or church related events advertised on this website please email the information to  glavenvalleybenefice.org.uk   or call the Benefice Office on 01263 740583